Explanation of Names
Ceratopogon: Greek keratos 'horn' + pogon 'beard' (a reference to hairy male antennae?)
4 subfamilies, with 603 species in 39 genera in our area(1)
with ~150 spp. being the largest genus) and >6000 described extant spp. in 113 genera worldwide(2)
Not yet in the guide: Subfamily Leptoconopinae, with 23 spp. in a single genus in our area(3)
and >160 spp. in 2 genera worldwide (all but 2 spp. are in the genus Leptoconops
Ocelli absent. Radial branches prominent. M usually with two branches. Similar to midges (Chironomidae) but stouter, with shorter legs, broader wings and well-developed proboscis. Wings usually held flat over back at rest (except some Stilobezzia). Flagellum typically 13-segmented with last several segments often moderately elongated (vs. only last segment moderately to extremely elongated in Chironomidae).
Larvae can be distinguished from most Chironomidae by presence of strong tubercles on body (Forcipomyiinae) or absence of thoracic prolegs (other subfamilies).
Worldwide and throughout NA(2)
Salt and freshwater marshes, forests, edges of ponds and streams
Adults most prevalent in June and July
Adult females suck blood from other insects, reptiles, and mammals (including humans), but also feed on flower nectar or other sugar source. Females of some species have atrophied mouthparts, and probably don't suck blood. All males feed only on sugars.
Larvae develop in moist or wet sand, mud, and decaying vegetation of salt and freshwater marshes, ponds and streams; a few occur under bark of rotting trees (from Roger Bland; How to Know the Insects)
Many species, mostly in Culicoides, bite humans and can be very annoying. A few are ectoparasites of other insects. Some species transmit diseases.